5 NHL FanDuel Studs to Target on Thursday 4/29/21

The large slates have begun in earnest in NHL DFS again. Tonight is a 10-gamer with some big studs. So, who can we trust?

Spending up in any daily fantasy lineup is how to get the superstars and the highest upside players in your lineup. In NHL DFS, it’s different from paying up in sports like NBA or NFL. Someone can be one of the highest-salaried players at his position and put up a total dud of a performance, and paying that much for him would be a huge mistake. Let’s make sure we are paying up in the right spots when building our lineups tonight.

Thursday night features another large 10-game NHL DFS slate. Let's take a look at which studs you should build around.

Connor McDavid, Center, Edmonton Oilers

FanDuel Salary: $9,300

When a $9,300 salary is a bargain in NHL DFS, one just looks up and goes oh that's Connor McDavid. Tonight is a "Battle Of Alberta" matchup against the Calgary Flames. If one wonders that a Darryl Sutter-coached team can slow down McDavid, wonder no more. The last two meetings indicate it is a possibility but...

McDavid is absolutely been producing like elite stars of the 1990's lately. Since the one-shot fiasco in Calgary six games ago, McDavid has 15 real-world points in five games including a hat trick on Monday in Winnipeg. There had been some debate whether the Edmonton center would hit $9,500 on FanDuel. With such a large slate, ownership may be spread out. Also, with the Edmonton center, you can use Jesse Puljujarvi as a stacking option along with one of Edmonton's defensemen.

Sidney Crosby goes up against the Washington Capitals. Also, there is Auston Matthews ($8,800) with a plus matchup versus the Vancouver Canucks.

Brad Marchand, Wing, Boston Bruins

FanDuel Salary: $7,800

The Boston Bruins play the Buffalo Sabres on Thursday night but the one constant against Buffalo continues to be the Boston top line and Brad Marchand. This just keeps working. Why not plug and play until it does not? Marchand bounced back on Tuesday against the Pittsburgh Penguins with a goal on five shots and four scoring chances.

The expectations are that of a higher-scoring game which means more scoring chances. Again, this is all about Boston being smarter about discipline. When they win, they commit fewer penalties. Boston averages just over 10 penalty minutes per contest. That top line has to be on the ice not off of it. Even though Marchand is a threat short-handed as well. In five of his last six games, Marchand has three or more shots and five or more shot attempts. Expect that not to change against the Sabres on Thursday night.

Artemi Panarin ($8,100) may be worth the risk for the New York Rangers against a New York Islanders team desperate for offense in any way.

Patrick Kane, Wing, Chicago Blackhawks

FanDuel Salary: $7,700

The crazy pandemic compressed season has sapped Patrick Kane's goal-scoring ability? The winger has just two goals in his last 15 games. That includes 11 times where he has fired three or more shots on goal and six or more shot attempts. He even had one game where the Blackhawk hit the net with 10 shots. His shooting percentage is less than 5% which is far from normal.

Yes, Alex DeBrincat ($6,700) has been potting some goals and Kane does have 45 assists to go with his 15 goals. His season shooting percentage has never dipped below 9%. It's 8.9% currently. This just does not seem sustainable. Most talk about positive regression but this is not the case. It is just a matter of time before the pucks start going in as Kane is generating rebounds with his shots (almost two a game lately).

Claude Giroux ($6,900) is an excellent option on Thursday night after two 20+ FanDuel point efforts against the New Jersey Devils. Yes, they play once more.

Adam Fox, Defenseman, New York Rangers

FanDuel Salary: $6,200

The test will be tonight in the Battle Of New York as Adam Fox tries to pad his assist total and more versus the New York Islanders.

This season has seen the New York Rangers' defenseman vault his way to near the top of the Norris Trophy list. He has 6 assists in his last four games with 10 blocked shots to go along with 6 shots. That is a floor of four per contest which is very solid for a young defender. His floor did drop to three in the last miniseries against the Islanders. This is a slight risk normally but with the Islanders struggling a bit, Fox may find a few more opportunities than usual -- especially early.

Kris Letang ($6,200) and Ivan Provorov ($5,800) both must be considered against Washington without Alex Ovechkin and Provorov versus the league-worst New Jersey penalty kill (68.3% at home).

Mike Smith, Goalie, Edmonton Oilers

FanDuel Salary: $8,000

Mike Smith is a risky start on Thursday versus Calgary but the 39-year-old is projected to be in net for Edmonton. There have been no reports to indicate an injury. Plus the goaltender is an amazing 17-5-2 on the season. He has produced 25+ FanDuel points in three of his previous four starts.

The "Battle Of Alberta" tends to be a wild affair filled with more shots than usual. That should help Smith get in a rhythm quickly. Also, Smith will look for a better performance as he gave up five goals on 32 shots his last time against these very same Flames. It is safe to say Edmonton should be quite motivated.

One alternative may just be Igor Shesterkin ($8,200) as he is projected to start against the New York Islanders. Wait for other confirmations including who may start for the Carolina Hurricanes tonight against Detroit.

Chris Wassel is not a FanDuel employee. In addition to providing DFS gameplay advice, Chris Wassel also participates in DFS contests on FanDuel using his personal account, username chriswassel. While the strategies and player selections recommended in his articles are his/her personal views, he/she may deploy different strategies and player selections when entering contests with his/her personal account. The views expressed in his/her articles are the author’s alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of FanDuel.